The meteorological garden

Philippe Rham

Country of the project


Laureate status


Today's contemporary city faces three major challenges. Episodes of summer heat waves reinforced by “urban heat island” effect, air pollution with fine particles and global warming.
This last phenomenon is the one faced by architecture because it emits nearly 50% to gases responsible for the greenhouse effect.

Urban planning was traditionally based on climate, comfort and health. As can be read in treatises of Vitruve or Alberti, the subjects deal with wind and sun exposure, humidity levels and temperatures.

These fundamental causes of urbanism have been ignored during the 20th century due to the huge use of fossil fuels in pumps, motors, refrigerators, heating, air conditioning systems that today cause the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Sustainability and the fight against climate change are forcing architects and urban planners to revisit the climatic foundations of architecture and make it the very material of architectural form and function.
The shape must follow climate.

The 0.5-hectare Meteorological Garden, located in the north-eastern part of Taichung Central Park in Taiwan, is an example of how we can base a public space on climatic geography and how we can use renewable energy to improve comfort by creating a carbon-free microclimate.